Be forewarned: not all will agree with what follows.
So one may hear this term a lot or one like it: the blood of Jesus, the blood of Christ, the shed blood of Jesus, the blood, etc. What does this term mean? What is it’s significance? Does it mean he bled like one does after cutting one’s finger? Is that all he had to do to redeem mankind form sin? Cut his finger and shed a little blood?
Here is what I shared in my recent sermon on the blood of Jesus:
What do we mean by the shed blood of Jesus? While he did bleed and shed blood was needed for the forgiveness of sins, the term “the blood of Jesus” is a reference to the violent sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross for the sins of humanity (that’s you and me and everybody else). It is not the blood itself that saves because Jesus had normal human blood as we all do. There is no magical power in the blood itself but rather it plays a symbolic role in that by Jesus shedding his blood, as a sinless man, through his violent sacrificial death on the cross, so that the wrath of God towards sin and sinful man is both averted and the penalty for our sin is wiped out. We are set free from sin and its hold on our lives, our sins are forgiven, we are reconciled to God and given access to him because of the blood of Christ, or his death on the cross.
It can be a challenging topic to talk about but In the Bible, Blood plays a significant role throughout both the Old and New Testaments and in the life of God’s people. From Genesis chapter 3 on, blood is shed because of sin. Because life is in the blood – when life is taken blood is required to make restitution for the life taken. Blood is used to establish a covenant between God and man. In this case it becomes the blood of the covenant. In Leviticus 14 God ordained that blood be used for ritual cleansing. Blood is used to purify parts of the tabernacle in the book of Exodus to designate them holy to the Lord. Blood is required for the payment of sin – in a sin offering an animal’s blood is shed and it is offered up as a sacrifice. In this sense the life of the animal is offered up in substitution for the person making the sacrifice. When blood is shed it does not mean simply cutting a hand so one bleeds. When blood is shed it often refers to a violent death or taking of life. Blood is needed to pay for sin. It’s either our blood or the blood of another, usually an animal. In Old Testament times, animal sacrifices were sufficient for a person’s sin offering. But in the New Testament, we find out that in reality, it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Our own blood was needed to pay for our own sins but we could not do that and God knew it. So, Jesus Christ came to give his life in our place so that we might live.
Thank God for the shed blood of Jesus on the cross!